A Brief History of St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral
The Episcopal Church in northwest Louisiana can trace its roots back to March of 1839, when on the banks of the Red River, Bishop Leonidas Polk held the first formal church service in what was then the newly established town of Shreveport. Although his visit was controversial at a time when Shreveport was known to be an almost lawless gambling and trading town on the edge of the Texas Territory, the same small group who came to listen to Bishop Polk began to grow in numbers and eventually organized themselves into St. Mark's Episcopal Church in 1859, just prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. St. Mark's is considered by many local historians to be the oldest documented church congregation in the area. The small parish grew rapidly over the years with Shreveport and, in 1957, we moved from what is now Holy Cross Episcopal Church downtown on Cotton Street to our current structure on Fairfield Avenue in the historic Highlands neighborhood. The church you see today was designed by local architect and parishioner Jack Annan. St. Mark's became the Cathedral church of the Diocese of Western Louisiana in 1990.
Overlooking the intersection of Kings Highway and Fairfield Avenue, St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral is a local landmark. St. Mark's is the seat of the Bishop of the Diocese and we are the mother church of the Shreveport Convocation. The structure is considered to be one of the finest examples of 14th Century English Gothic architecture in the region and it dominates the surrounding landscape. While the bell tower is modeled after the tower at Magdalen College in Oxford, England, the rest of the structure is completely original.